Similar to Zingerman's yummy loaf...a not-too-sweet bread studded with bits of bittersweet chocolate and dried cherries. Add some toasted pecan pieces for some extra crunch, or leave them out; your choice. Prep time does not include 2 to 3 hours of rising time.
- 1⁄4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons instant dry yeast, 1 pkg
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1⁄3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 3⁄4 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup coffee, freshly brewed and cooled until warm (105 to 115 degrees F)
- 4 tablespoons butter or 4 tablespoons margarine, softened
- 1 large egg, separated
- 3⁄4 cup dried tart cherries or 3⁄4 cup dried sweet cherries
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 1⁄2 cup chocolate chips
- 1⁄3 cup pecan pieces, toasted
- 1 teaspoon water
- In cup, combine warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, cocoa, brown sugar, and salt.
- With wooden spoon, stir warm coffee, butter, egg yolk (cover egg white and set aside in refrigerator), and yeast mixture into flour mixture.
- In bowl, with floured hands, knead several times to combine well.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, working in enough of remaining 1/2 cup flour just to keep dough from sticking. Knead in cherries and chocolate pieces.
- Shape dough into ball; place in greased large bowl, turning dough to grease top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place (80 to 85 degrees F) until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Punch down dough.Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and CUT IN HALF; cover dough and let rest 15 minutes for easier shaping.
- Shape each dough HALF into 5-inch ball : Using the sides of your hands, tuck sides of dough under to meet in center. Rotate and repeat to form taut ball. Place balls, 3-inches apart, in opposite corners of ungreased large cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In cup, beat reserved egg white with water; use to brush tops of loaves. Sprinkle loaves with remaining 2 teaspoons granulated sugar. With serrated knife or single-edge razor blade, cut shallow X in top of each loaf.
- Bake until loaves are crusty, about 25 to 30 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 185°F Tent loosely with foil after 20 minutes, if the loaves are browning too much (it might be difficult to tell!). Transfer to wire racks to cool.